Showing posts from August, 2012

Tolkien and Lewis - a work of fiction

The following came from a writing prompt.  The challenge was to think of someone from history who intrigued me, and to write about them having supper.  I chose to write about J.R.R Tolkien and a friend of his by the name of C.S. Lewis.  These are two people who always make it on to my “Who would you invite to dinner” list.

Tolkien and Lewis. It is mid to late autumn. The men are walking among Tolkien’s beloved trees nearby, their differences evident in how they walk: Lewis, taller and vital, walks quickly.  Tolkien likes to stroll, stopping occasionally to look at the trees, drive home a point, or light a pipe. They debate whether the purpose of a walk is the walk itself, or getting back home again. The evening is crisp, with an edge of oncoming winter chill.  The sun is nearing the horizon, soon to leave their little bit of England in darkness.
Feet crunching through fallen leaves on their approach to a cosy house set well back from the quiet country lane, two men anticipate a good…

Paralympics 2012 opening ceremony: Athletes in gold wheelchairs, 1bn viewers and a Stephen Hawking cameo | Mail Online

The Five First Saturdays for the Blessed Mother

Child and mother by Eugene Field

O mother-my-love, if you'll give me your hand,
And go where I ask you to wander,
I will lead you away to a beautiful land,--
The Dreamland that's waiting out yonder.
We'll walk in a sweet posie-garden out there,
Where moonlight and starlight are streaming,
And the flowers and the birds are filling the air
With the fragrance and music of dreaming.
There'll be no little tired-out boy to undress,
No questions or cares to perplex you,
There'll be no little bruises or bumps to caress,
Nor patching of stockings to vex you;
For I'll rock you away on a silver-dew stream
And sing you asleep when you're weary,
And no one shall know of our beautiful dream
But you and your own little dearie.

And when I am tired I'll nestle my head
In the bosom that's soothed me so often,
And the wide-awake stars shall sing, in my stead,
A song which our dreaming shall soften.
So, Mother-my-Love, let me take your dear hand,
And away through the starlight we'll wander,--
Away throug…

Starting a Woman’s Study is Easier Than You Think!

A woman asked me how to start a study for her friends in her parish. After that a young college girl inquired about starting a bible study in her sorority. That was followed by a mother wanting to begin one, in her home, with her friends. It got me thinking...How many women would like to start a study but feel it might be more than they could handle?

The good news is, starting a woman’s study is easier than you think! 

Here are a few guidelines; and, I would be more than willing to answer any questions as well. I can be contacted at or by calling 248-917-3865.

Getting the group together:

If you already have a group of interested women, your best bet is to look at your own schedule and offer a couple of options for getting together. I would suggest an hour and a half to two hours, once a week. So, for example if Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. or Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00 p.m. work best for you, send out emails, or make phone calls, to everyone sharing th…

Jerome Lejeune, the French doctor who 'discovered' the cause of Down Syndrome

St Monica - an Irish mother?

St Monica, Luis Tristán de Escamilla 1616

A post from 2009. And a post from 2008. 

Love is powerful

I gripe a lot about the state of the world.  I think I may have found a solution. The answer, most obviously, is love.
How powerful is love? Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Cor. 13:7). I know it’s true, because when my youngest nephew (4 years old) whom I love to absolute bits, broke my favourite necklace and said, “I’m just strong” I felt a pang of “darn it, why did you do that” but was more concerned that he felt bad about it, and gave him a hug, cautioning him to be more careful of other people’s stuff.  A total stranger walked off with my pen, and I had invisible plumes of temper.
As a friend recently told me, “the power of love raises the mundane to the level of sublime because through love we see God's hand in everything we do”.  I see this in action in two ways: when I undertake a task I’m not entirely overjoyed about and do it with reluctance or resentment, it remains a loathsome chore.  However, if I perform the duty with lo…

Bi-Location and Other Necessary Motherhood Skills

I glanced at the clock when I heard my husband say to my oldest son, “Call me when you get home.”
“Where is he?” I asked.
When my husband replied, “He’s on his way home from work,” my stomach began churning. Not the hunger-type churn but the worried-mother-type churn. Our son had purchased a home just months before and was still getting a handle on things but between work and other demands, it wasn’t easy. My husband and I—and his brothers—had all helped out with painting, cutting the lawn, some electrical and lighting things and so on.
It took all our willpower (my husband’s and mine) not to completely take over, but to just be available to help if and as needed. We wanted to take care of our son, get him set up in his new house. Mostly, I wanted—needed, really—to know that he was “okay” and that he wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the demands of new home ownership.
The point of the call was to set up a date and a time that my husband would be able to come and help with another task. To hear …

Embracing Motherhood: Discovering Our Lord at home with us.

'Do you also wish to go away?' Sunday Reflections, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Main Altar, Monastery of Miraflores, Burgos, Gil de Siloé (1496-99)

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)

Gospel John 6:60-69 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)

Many of the disciples of Jesus, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you that do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him …

View from the Domestic Church: Tomorrow...

As Sweet As A Rose

The life of St. Rose is indeed, as beautiful as a flower made sweeter and stronger by the "thorns" in her life. 

Link to Article: As Sweet As A Rose

*Coffee Moments with Sam A Catholic Mom's Thoughts on Life, Love, Family, Relationships, Blessings and Learnings.

View from the Domestic Church: Are we "salt and light" to the world?

My Name Is Cheryl...And I Am A Weakling

My name is Cheryl.

And I am a weakling.

That’s the kind of group I want to be in: the kind of group where we each take the stand and own up to who we are—who we really are. Not the avatars we put out in the world through our blogs and our tweets; but who we are at the core.

After all, that’s where we will all ultimately connect, where we will all see one another as Christ sees us: as humanity steeped in the dignity of our creation but as a weak humanity in need of strength found in him who has offered us salvation.

I love being weak.

It means I’m “needy” which seems, to many people I am sure, to be an unpleasant state of being. And I’ve been trampled on more than a few times in my weakened state. I don’t always fight back when society would say that I should. I’ve been hurt and I’ve been wounded.

For years I tried to fight being weak. A bit ironic, right?

I wanted to be able to pick myself up by my bootstraps. I wanted to be able to say with confidence and pride that I was able…

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor turns 80

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor turns 80 Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor celebrates his 80th birthday on Friday 24 August.

Since leaving Westminster in 2009, the Cardinal has been kept very busy. His appointment to the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples has been an important one - he has been directly involved in the appointment of bishops for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, as well as for countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania. In 2010, he was appointed by the Holy See to oversee the Visitation of the Archdiocese of Armagh – a visitation intended to assist the local Church on her path of renewal. He was sent to India in 2011 as the Holy Father's official representative to mark the Silver Jubilee of Pope John Paul II's historic visit. In November 2012, he will travel to Bangladesh as the Papal legate to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the creation of the Diocese of Dhaka and 400 years of the pr…

Embracing Motherhood: Back to School!

A Level Playing Field, A Woman I Admire

Besides the money thing, Ann Romney and I have a lot in common.

Well, maybe not a lot, but we have enough in common that I consider her a woman who I admire.

And I don’t admire a lot of women—at least not a lot of ones currently living. Is that bad? I’m not sure. I have my reasons for loving women from Scripture: we see how things “turned out.” We know they finished the race set before them. In some cases we know their struggles and the way they faced those struggles. We learn so much from them. That’s why I stand at attention when a woman of my own generation makes me notice qualities that resonate with me, qualities that I admire.

Now does this mean that Ann Romney is perfect? I’m guessing not.

But since no one is, I’m confident proclaiming that perfection doesn’t have to be a gold standard.

The gold standard, for me, is how a woman engages in her life’s circumstances in a way that reflects commitment and acceptance. The gold standard, for me, is to see a woman make a choice to,…

Message of Condolence from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on learning of the death of His Holiness Abune Paulos, Patriarch of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, on 16th August 2012

Message of Condolence from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on learning of the death of His Holiness Abune Paulos, Patriarch of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, on 16th August 2012 On behalf of Archbishop Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and Archbishop Bernard Longley, Chairman of the Department for Dialogue and Unity, I wish to convey to the members of the Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches in England and Wales, the most sincere condolences of all the members of the Bishops’ Conference on the death of His Holiness Patriarch Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. His Holiness is remembered with affection as a man of great learning and culture. He ministered in a most fruitful way to the needs of his own people in working for peace and reconciliation in his own country. He was a true bridge builder in a time of political and civil unrest. His Holiness also had a strong commitment to building up the spiri…

Our Festive Thanksgiving.

'The strength that empowered me was the Eucharist.' Sunday Reflections, 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Sandhill Mass Rock('Carraig an Aifrinn', in Irish), County Donegal, Ireland.
During the 17th century, when Catholics in Ireland were persecuted, Mass was often celebrated in remote places, with aMass rockas the altar.
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA) 
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 
GospelJohn 6:51-58(Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)
Jesus said to the crowds: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will rai…

A big thankyou to Marion!

Thankyou to Marion for managing this site. It  looks cheerful, uplifting & contains many posts of inspiration & help in the spiritual life. Do share the excellent posts among your readers and friends. Contact Marion

Should I Pray for Healing...Or Should I Carry My Cross?

It is ironic that, as a Catholic, the most difficult part of having a chronic health issue isn’t the health issue itself but is the big question: Should I pray for healing…or should I carry my cross?

And it is that question that often keeps us spiraling through a journey that is already burdensome and often overwhelming.

In my own journey, which has lasted for the better part of two decades, I know that I’ve gone through many different phases. There were times that I tried to take on St. Paul’s attitude of embracing the “thorn” of an illness while at other times I was on my knees praying—between sobs of anguish—for healing. I’ve attended Healing Masses where I’ve been prayed over by a team of healers and have hands laid upon me; I’ve had private healing prayers said over me.

I’ve done novenas and have sought alternative medical care—all at my own expense—when the established medical system failed me. I’ve been in bed unable to move from the dizziness that has enveloped me and ha…

Love & Hisses: Your source for the cutest kittehs on the internet » 8/14/12

Love & Hisses: Your source for the cutest kittehs on the internet » 8/14/12   anyone in New York need a kitten or a cat ?, an apeal here from a lovely little family. I know we have readers in that general area, please help spread the information, after all
"He liveth best ,who loveth best both man and bird and beast".

Chronic Illness: A Gift from God?

For years the only person who knew I suffered from a chronic illness was my husband. Over time, and out of necessity, a few more people were allowed into my world of health issues—and yet no one really knew the severity of what I went through, except my husband.

What I’ve come to realize is that I prefer my world be divided into two clear parts: the private, reclusive Cheryl and the author, writer, teacher, social Cheryl. Mostly, though, at the heart of who I am is the private, reclusive Cheryl.

My quiet, alone time is important to me—even more so since I began spiritual direction a few years ago and sought to understand the movements of God in my life and live accordingly. I need to be with God in a very real way and have learned how to respond to the ache for Him through my prayer life and “down time.”

As the years progressed and I understood that my physical suffering had value, I began sharing bits and pieces of what I was going through: severe joint problems, nights of diz…

Plunging into Prayer

The more we pray, the more we wish to pray. Like a fish which at first swims on the surface
of the water and afterwards plunges
down and is always going deeper, the soul               plunges,                      dives,                           and loses itself                                 in the sweetness of conversing with God St. John Vianney

(reblogged  from A Prayer Corner)
(photo in public domain)

Litany of St Clare

Litany of St. Clare

Lord, have mercy Christ, have mercy Lord, have mercy Christ hear us; Christ graciously hear us. God, the Father of Heaven; have mercy on us! God, the son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us! God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us! Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us! Holy Mary, Queen of Virgins, pray for us St. Clare chosen of Christ, pray for us St. Clare, lover of chastity, pray for us St. Clare, vessel of holiness, pray for us St. Clare, prayerful daughter of St. Francis, pray for us St. Clare, morning light, pray for us St. Clare, Mother and Foundress of the Poor Clare’s, pray for us St. Clare, humble follower of Christ, pray for us St. Clare, faithful imitator of St. Francis, pray for us St. Clare, humble servant of the servants of Christ, pray for us St. Clare, brilliant light of holiness, pray for us St. Clare, wonderful helper in need, pray for us St. Clare, full of joy, pray for us St. Clare, poor with the poor, pray for us St. Clare rich in meri…

The Story of the Prodigal Son Retold

Feeling footloose, fancy-free and frisky, this feather-brained fellow finagled his fond father into forking over his fortune. Forthwith, he fled for foreign fields and frittered his farthings feasting fabulously with fair-weathered friends.

Finally, facing famine, and fleeced by his fellows in folly, he found himself a feed flinger in a filthy farmlot. He fain would have filled his frame with foraged food from the fodder fragments.

"Fooey! My father's flunkies fare far fancier" the frazzled fugitive fumed feverishly, frankly facing fact.

Frustrated from failure and filled with forebodings, he fled for his family. Falling at his father's feet, he floundered forlornly. "Father, I have flunked and fruitlessly forfeited further family favors."

But the faithful father, forestalling further flinching, frantically flagged his flunkies to set forth the finest fatling and fix a feast.

The fugitive's fault-finding frater, faithfully farming his father's field…

The Dignity of Work

“From the beginning therefore he [man] is called to work. Work is one of the characteristics that distinguish man from the rest of creatures, whose activity for sustaining their lives cannot be called work. Only man is capable of work, and only man works, at the same time by work occupying his existence on earth. Thus work bears a particular mark of man and of humanity, the mark of a person operating within a community of persons. And this mark decides its interior characteristics; in a sense it constitutes its very nature.”

Blessed John Paul wrote these words in his encyclical Laborem Exercens in 1981.

I’ve referred to this encyclical many times in my own writings and in attempting to get at the very nature of who I am as a Catholic woman, wife, mother, author, and teacher. I have found in his words a timeless truth—no surprise there!—and a certain sense of peace as well. Whether I have worked outside of the home out of necessity or out of a desire, balancing work with family alw…

'I am the bread of life.' Sunday Reflections, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

, The Charity of St Lawrence, Bernardo Strozzi, painted 1639-40
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 
Gospel John 6:41-51 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)
The Jews then murmured at Jesus, because he said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" Jesus answered them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who bel…